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New Year Tips for a Healthier You
January 2016
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New on the Resilience Blog

Sitting Kills: How to Get More Movement into Your Day


empty chairHow much of your day do you spend seated? Six hours? Eight? Ten? More?
 
The hard truth is that most of us sit waaaaay too much – and it shows. It’s one of the big reasons behind the high rates of chronic disease in this country.
 
And it raises your risk of early death.
 
One of the most fascinating studies in recent years analyzed data from more than 222,000 older adults over the course of three years. Those who sat 11 hours a day or more had a 40% greater risk of death than those who sat less than 4 hours a day. It didn’t matter if they exercised regularly or not.

This same kind of elevated risk was discussed in a review of the science just published in Current Cardiology Reports. Again, it didn’t matter if the patients exercised or not. “Sedentary behavior,” said the authors, “may represent a distinct cardiovascular risk factor that is independent of the overall amount of physical activity.”

The take-away from studies like these? Get up and move.
 




sedentary lifestyle comic

 


Burning the Old Year

By Naomi Shihab Nye

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.   
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,   
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,   
lists of vegetables, partial poems.   
Orange swirling flame of days,   
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,   
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.   
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,   
only the things I didn’t do   
crackle after the blazing dies.
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Jaymie Meyer
The Path to Optimal Health


Science shows that all the exercise in the world may not be enough to offset the damage from too many hours sitting still. That’s why this month on the blog, I offer a set of simple exercises you can do right next to your desk – an easy way to get more movement into your day.
 
But when it comes to total health, physical activity is just a part of it. Eating well is another.

Interestingly, recent research suggests that there’s no one diet that’s right for everyone. How we use the food we give our bodies matters just as much as what we give them. Diet, the science suggests, needs to be personalized.

This points to one of the reasons why I love Ayurveda – traditional Indian medicine – and its Western counterpart of Functional Medicine. Both approaches acknowledge the need for individualization. Both recognize that health is something bigger than just the current state of our bodies.
 
As Dr. Mark Hyman describes it, “Functional Medicine is medicine by cause, not by symptom. Functional Medicine practitioners don’t, in fact, treat disease, we treat your body’s ecosystem. We get rid of the bad stuff, put in the good stuff, and because your body is an intelligent system – it does the rest.”
 
Recently, Functional Medicine physician Dr. Akil Palanisamy published a new book that instantly struck me as a fantastic tool for accomplishing this on a daily basis. Described as “a comprehensive roadmap to optimal health,” The Paleovedic Diet combines the most effective aspects of Paleo eating with Ayurveda. It also delves into related matters of healing, detox, and lifestyle.

It’s a great resource – especially if you’ve dedicated yourself to making healthier choices for yourself in this still very new year.


 

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Images by Brian Maleszyk and Arlane Hunter, via Flickr
Copyright © 2016 Resilience for Life, All rights reserved.


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